Saturday 23 September 2017

Loew delays making call on Gomez

Germany coach Joachim Loew will wait until the last minute to see if central-defender Benedikt Hoewedes and striker Mario Gomez will be fit for tonight's World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.

The coach said the pair had been joined by Mesut Ozil for a run on Sunday but did not train with the rest of the team as Germany prepare for their second encounter with the Kazakhs after beating them 3-0 in Astana on Friday.

"I do not see a problem with Mesut but for the other two I will wait until the final training. Only after that will we take a final decision," Loew said.

Hoewedes and Gomez, the only striker left in the squad, are nursing minor muscle problems.

Loew confirmed Ilkay Guendogan will play in midfield, in place of the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger, despite a late call-up for his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Sven Bender.

"Ilkay will play tomorrow. He has taken a huge step forward not only for Dortmund but for us as well," Loew said. "He has won a lot of esteem and plays top international-level football.

"I expect us to play with the same passion as we did in the first half in Kazakhstan. That we score an early goal and add to that to put them under pressure."

Irish Independent

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